Wander about the quaint village of Hebden Bridge and discover the delights and creativity of the bohemian style streets. With a great history and influence over some the UK’s most prolific artists and writers, the strong artistic evidence is still ever present with its bountiful galleries, quirky pavement cafes and charming cottages and houses that line the street.
Hepstonstall, an old weaver’s village with traditional cobbled lanes, lies above the hills of Hebden Bridge. With only two old pubs, a small post office and a cute café, this village adds to the charm of the Hebden Bridge area and it is perhaps one of the area’s best kept secrets. The old churchyard is one of the most intriguing in the country. With two small churches and a cemetery containing over 100,000 people, there’s still a lot of mystery in the air.
Experience the Quintessential English Countryside
Home to some of Yorkshire’s famous Pennine hills and deep valleys, Hebden Bridge remains one of the favourite destinations for walkers. It’s a great place to escape from the nearby cities and every weekend, visitors flock to breathe in the sweet fresh air of the countryside. Walking remains one of the most popular activities of both locals and out of town visitors. It could be just a simple leisurely stroll along the riverside path or for the more adventurous a light trek that follows the stone causeways.
England’s first National Trail aptly named the Pennine Way is not too far away. Calderdale Way is another popular walking route that meanders 80 km around the well-known Calder Valley. It has recently become more popular with mountain bikers and horse riders due to an increasing number of bridleways that have been constructed.
Cutting through Hebden Bridge is Rochdale Canal that runs for about 33 miles between Sowerby and Manchester Bridge. This easily navigable canal is broad compared to other canals in the country. It takes its name from the small town of Rochdale in the Greater Manchester region where it passes. This makes for a pleasant walk or jog when the sun rises and sets and if you’re looking for a spot to take some stunning photographs, heading down to Rochdale Canal is a must.
Otherwise known as the little Switzerland of Britain, Hardcastle Crags will leave visitors in awe with the stunning Germanic style architecture and diverse countryside fused with rocky crags, hence the name Hardcastle Crags. The area is famous among nature lovers and walkers and if you’re looking to see nature in action, this is one place you must visit if you’re in the Yorkshire area.
With a number of different walks and treks, there’s something to suit every fitness and expert level. Choose your route according to well signposted maps and be sure to keep an eye out for some amazing wildlife such as the northern hairy wood ants that can be easily spotted by their giant nests built out of pine needles. The spring and summer months are a real treat and you’ll be able to inhale the sweet smell of bluebells and watch the dancing dragonflies and damselflies zoom over the ponds. If you’re keen on spotting the shy roe deer, head out in the early morning or dusk when they’re more likely to emerge and scour about for food.
If you want to see an exemplary example of a quaint Pennine hill village, Heptonstall is probably one of the most picturesque. Located just above Hebden Bridge and tucked slightly behind the hills, you’ll be privy to stunning ancient architecture, ruins and winding cobbled streets. The streets are interesting enough and you could just spend your time wandering around and poking your head around the mysterious looking corners.
Be sure to go and visit the old Grammar School Museum that displays the long and beautiful history of the region. The charming Methodist Octagonal Chapel is also not to be missed and if you’re a fan of the late Sylvia Plath, you can go and pay your respects at the “new” church where she rests.
Land Farm Garden
A stunningly beautiful garden is the pride and joy of Hebden Bridge and Colden. It’s caught the eye of many and the unique woodland garden was even featured on Gardeners’ World. This gem was created by its proud and loving owners, who recently opened it up to the public. It’s a paradise for artists who often retreat there with collapsible stools and canvas and paint the wonders that lie before them. Attached to the old country house, there’s a small art gallery featuring the work of locals. Open every weekend from 10-17.00, it’s a lovely weekend escape. For visitors wishing to visit during the working week, the owners request that people visit after 18.00 and pre-book by calling 01422 842260.